Texas Bishops discouraged by Gov. Abbott's decision to turn away refugees

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(KWTX) The Texas Conference of Bishops said Texas Governor Greg Abbott's decision to turn away refugees "is deeply discouraging and disheartening."

Abbott on Friday said the state will reject the resettlement of new refugees, becoming the first state known to do so under a recent Trump administration order.

Abbott wrote that Texas "has been left by Congress to deal with disproportionate migration issues resulting from a broken federal immigration system."

He added that Texas, which typically takes in thousands of refugees each year, has done "more than its share."

In a statement released Monday, the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops said it "respects the governor" but "this decision is simply misguided. It denies people who are fleeing persecution, including religious persecution, from being able to bring their gifts and talents to our state and contribute to the general common good of all Texans."

The organization further stated, "As Catholics, an essential aspect of our faith is to welcome the stranger and care for the alien."

It promised to work "more ardently with all people of good will, including our federal, state and local governments, to help refugees integrate and become productive members of our communities."

Governors in 42 other states have said they will consent to allowing in more refugees, according to the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

In November, President Donald Trump announced that resettlement agencies needed to get written consent from state and local officials in jurisdictions where they want to help resettle refugees beyond June 2020.